The Newbies

After an especially productive consignment shopping trip this weekend, it occurred to me that you might like to see how I decide what pieces to add to my wardrobe (yes, there is a method to the madness).

Most of my clothing choices are made quite deliberately. I’m usually looking for very specific pieces (or at least pieces with a specific vibe).

In preparation for each season, I like to check out my local consignment shops to see what pieces on my wish list I can recycle into my wardrobe. Then I fill in the gaps online and in stores. Not only is it a little more ecologically responsible, it leaves me more money for shoes. šŸ˜‰

leather skirt before alterations

I have been looking for a leather skirt for a while now, so I was especially excited to find this one. It’s a no-namer that has been worn in quite nicely (I love buying vintage leather and denim-someone else has done all the work of beating them up into perfection for you).

While it’s gorgeous, the length is awkward for my tastes, so I’ll have it hemmed to the knee before autumn.

Pro tip #1: A lot of leather can look software-programmer-at-bike-week really quick, so I like to pair leather clothing with suede or fabric shoes to soften it up (like the grey suede sandals here).

Pro tipĀ  #2: When you thrift, you’ll often find pieces that are nearly perfect. Look for pieces that will be bumped into closet rock star status with an easy alteration or two.

ivory forever21 blouse

This Forever21 shirt still had the tags on it and is in perfect condition. It’s unlikely to be a long-lasting staple (it’s made of polyester, and I really like my summer tops to be silk or cotton), but it’s great for adding a jolt of “new” to the closet. I LOVE ivory and have difficulty finding pieces in that color that I adore, so I jump at any chance to pick it up.

tan blazer express

This camel blazer is from Express. It’s a great stand in for the tropical wool one I hope to eventually own.

Pro tip #3: Any blazer will automatically look more expensive with working buttons on the arm. This one’s buttons are already functional (props, Express!), but if your favorite one doesn’t, it’s an easy fix for your tailor.

Black BCBG party dress

Soooo, yeah. I didn’t really have an excuse for this one (and it was the most expensive piece I bought that day), but it has a glam rock n’roll vibe and is so beautifully cut, I couldn’t help myself.

Pro tip #4: Always go for a marriage of love over reason.

In the end, I spent less than $130 and scored 5 items (I’ll show you my favorite one soon). All four items here came from What’s New Consignment.

Unpacked:

Leather A-line skirt, $36.

Ivory blouse, Forever21, $8.

Camel blazer, Express, $4 (SERIOUSLY!).

Black Party Dress, BCBGMAXAZRIA, $50.

 

 

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When It’s Hot, But You Want to Look Polished

With the days gettingĀ  warmer (understatement of the year), my wardrobe is trending towards lighter colors and fabrics.

ivory and white dress on back patio

Since it’s already hot enough to break a sweat when I walk from my house to the garage, I rely on tailored but loosely-fitting clothing that drapes and allows a breeze or two of relief.

ivory and white on back patio2

Perfect for an afternoon birdwatching sesh on the back patio.

Unpacked:

Ivory dress, via Hattie’s Branches.

Vintage shoes, Bally.

Tiger’s Eye earrings, Sorrelli.

Gold chain bracelets, street markets here and there.

Brunch

Anyone who observed what I wore in my 20s would certainly have noticed my unapologetic love affair with chains (Freud could’ve had a party with that, I’m sure).

As I’ve matured, I’ve moved from dripping in them to adding a few well-placed doses here and there as a foil to more sophisticated pieces (noticing a theme yet?).

 

0K2A7490This little ivory day dress has pockets! and the most beautifully draped cowl neckline that provides the perfect stage for a necklace with personality. The chain is one long strand taken from a vintage necklace that I simply tied into a bow.

 

0K2A7438I tend to shy away from prints, but love neutral pieces with unusual design features (like the cap sleeves and back cutout of this dress) that lend a little something extra to the look.

 

0K2A7477I like to travel light on the weekends, and a black embossed minaudiere is the perfect size for a license, credit card, phone, and lipstick.Ā  A large military-inspired ring brings a little edge to the ensemble.

 

0K2A7431The camo and buckles on these booties continue the military vibe, but the calf hair reads more “polished.”

The breakdown:

Dress: Fable, via Hattie’s Branches

Bag: Generic; I can’t, for the life of me, remember where I picked it up.

Camo Calf-hair booties: Nine West, thrifted

Necklace: deconstructed vintage, via Black Swan Bazaar

Ring: Lucky Brand

 

Photography courtesy of Emily Plank Photography.